Nurse out on bail
Amale nurse at the Life Queenstown Private Hospital has been released on bail after he was charged with the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl who had been a patient at the hospital earlier in November.
The child’s mother, who may not be named to protect her child’s identity, said this week that she had lodged a case with the police following an incident at the hospital.
Police spokesperson Captain Namhla Mdleleni has confirmed that a suspect, aged 34, has since been arrested and charged with sexual assault. The suspect has been released on bail pending his next court appearance.
Although not much information can be released as the case is currently in court, it is believed that the girl was fondled while in a ward at the hospital.
The mother, who said she was not happy with the response of the hospital and its staff since the incident, said she had been concerned about her child’s safety after she was told about what had allegedly happened.
She also claimed that although her daughter was moved out of the ward, the male nurse was later seen in his uniform although the hospital had indicated he would be removed. She said he might have been there for the hearing, but her child should not have been able to see him.
The hospital communication since the incident had also not been good, she said, indicating that the family was considering legal action against the hospital.
Eastern Cape Life Healthcare regional manager Bruce Janssens said the hospital was deeply disturbed by the reported incident.
He said the staff member was suspended with immediate effect and that a disciplinary hearing was pending. An internal investigation was under way and the hospital was engaging proactively with the police.
“We are working with the police for an expedient and appropriate resolution regarding this matter. Our priority is the wellbeing of this patient and we have provided the patient with emotional support in the form of counselling.”
He said the safety of patients was of paramount importance to the hospital.
“LQPH has zero tolerance for any conduct which contravenes our values and code of ethics.”
The code was designed to safeguard the interests of patients, doctors and employees with a philosophy underpinned by values of respect and empathy for those entrusted to their care and their families.